Todd Helton, who already underwent hip surgery in August, will have left knee surgery today to repair a torn meniscus, according to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post.
Saunders writes that the surgery “is not considered major” and Helton is expected to be ready for spring training, but at age 39 and coming off a season in which he played just 69 games his health is obviously a huge question mark.
Helton is owed $5 million in the final season of his contract and has played 16 seasons for the Rockies, but hit just .238 with seven homers and a .743 OPS when in the lineup this year. At this point he seems likely to be a part-time player in 2013.
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner left Monday’s Cactus League game against the Athletics after he was hit by a pitch. He went for X-rays, revealing that he suffered a broken wrist, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. Shaikin adds that Turner is unlikely to return before May, noting that Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman missed six weeks with a similar injury last year and Astros outfielder George Springer missed nine weeks in 2015.
Needless to say, this is a huge loss for the Dodgers. Last year, Turner hit .322/.415/.530 with 21 home runs and 71 RBI in 543 plate appearances, helping the Dodgers reach the World Series. He made the All-Star team for the first time in his career and finished eighth in NL MVP balloting.
Thankfully, the Dodgers have some versatile players on the roster. Logan Forsythe could move from second base to third, giving Chase Utley more playing time at second. Enrique Hernandez could man the hot corner as well. Chris Taylor has played some third base, or he could shift to second base in Forsythe’s stead. The club should shed some light on how it plans to move forward following Turner’s injury.